Difference Between Impact Printers And Nonimpact Printers

What is a printer? A printer is an outputting device that prints characters, symbols and possibly graphics on paper. Because the printed output is usually in a permanent format, it’s often called hardcopy. Softcopy refers only to images that are temporarily displayed on a monitor. The classification of printers is based on whether the image produced by the print mechanism has physical contact with the paper. Printers that print on impact have contact; nonimpact printers do not.

Impact printers

The mechanisms of an impact printer are similar to those used in a typewriter. The printer forms images or characters by pressing a mechanism, such as a print wheel or print hammer against an inked ribbon. This leaves an image on paper. Although impact printers are no longer in use, dot-matrix printers may still be available. A dot matrix printer is a small print head that uses tiny pins to strike an inked ribbon. This creates characters and images. There are three types of print heads: the 24-pin head is the best for the best quality. Dot-matrix printers allow you to choose between output quality. A coarser 72 dots per inch vertically may be acceptable for papers and reports drafts, but a crisper 144 dots per inches vertically is better suited for final products to be displayed to others.

Dot-matrix printers can print between 40 and 300 characters per second (cps), but the quality of reproduction is poor. There are limited options for color ribbons. Dot-matrix printers can be noisy and inexpensive. They can also print multipart forms, making multiple copies of the page simultaneously, something that ninimpact printers are unable to do.

A different type of impact printing is not compatible with microcomputers. High-speed line printers are used by large computer systems. They can print multiple characters at once, rather than one character. Some printers are called chain printers and others have characters on a rotating band. Others, known as band printers or band printers, print characters on a rotational band. These machines may produce speeds of up to 3000 lines per hour.

Non-impact printers

Nonimpact printers can be found almost everywhere. They are more efficient and quieter than traditional impact printers due to the fact that they have fewer moving parts. Non-impact printers can form images and characters without any physical contact between the paper and the printing mechanism.

Laser printers and inkjet printers are two types of non-impact printers that are often used with microcomputers.

Laser Printer: The laser printer can create images with dots just like a dot-matrix printing machine. The images are created in the same way as a photocopier machine. They are created on a drum. After being treated with a magnetically-charged ink-like toner (powder), they are transferred from the drum to paper.
Laser printers are very popular for good reasons. They produce sharp and crisp images of text as well as graphics. The resolutions range from 300 dpi through to 1200, which is close-typeset quality (NTQ). They are quiet and quick. They can print text-only pages at a speed of 432 pages per minute on individual microcomputers and 120 pages per min for mainframes. Pages with more graphic pages print slower. They can be printed in many font styles and sizes. Higher-end models can print in different color options.

Laser printers come with RAM chips that can store the documents from your computer. A printer that has a lot RAM is required if you work in desktop publishing or print complex documents with many graphics and color. Laser printers have their own ROM chips that store fonts, and a dedicated processor. A page description language is a software program that allows laser printers to print complex pages and manage graphics. PDL (page description languages) describes how graphics and letters will look to the printer. PostScript from Adobe Systems is one type of page description language. HPGL, HewlettPackard Graphic Language is another.

Ink-jet printer: Similar to laser and dot matrix printers, inkjet printers can also create images with very small dots. Four nozzles are used to spray ink into paper with high speed.

Inkjet printers can print color. They are also quieter and less expensive than color laser printers. They are slower than laser printers and can print at a lower resolution (300-720 pixels per inch). The most expensive inkjet printers are capable of printing at up to 1200 or 1400 dots per inch. You will need special coated paper to achieve high-resolution output. These papers are more expensive than regular paper. It can take as long as 10 minutes to print a single page of color graphics on an inkjet printer that prints at high resolution.

Bubble-jet printer – This is an alternative to inkjet technology. The bubble-jet printing system uses tiny heating elements to force specially formulated liquid inks through print heads equipped with 128 tinynozzles. Multiple nozzles produce fine images at high speeds. This technology is often used in portable printers.

When buying a printer, there are some things you should consider. Is the printer easy to setup? Do you find it easy to use? What color do I need? Or will black suffice? Are there good warranties and telephone technical support offered by the manufacturer? It’s a smart idea to purchase your own printer to get the answers to these questions.

Source: Makabongwe Maseko

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